Eye Witness Views - The Little Panado Boy - Poem by Margaret Kollmer
There’s something about the use of the word ‘good’ that bothers me; however lightly. Good afternoon and good morning are fine, as well as have a good day, but just recently I’ve become a little perturbed by various celebs and/or ladies-who-lunch, amongst others, who announce to all and sundry their undying love of a good wine or a good cheese or even a good mushroom for goodness sakes. If all these supposedly posh-noshers are going to make short work of all the good things, then who gets to put away the bad? Us proles of course.
Certainly, I can remember my own mother telling us that we had to have a good breakfast each morning and if we didn’t eat up every scrap, we would be in a for a good hiding when our father came home. That was in the bad old days but the threat was enough to preclude any of us from not finishing the food on our plates.
Then there’s the excellent Panado ad that causes me endless delight: where we see a little boy contemplating his dinner plate and the horror-struck look of surprise on his face when his Mum, passing by, says: ‘Don’t forget to eat your peas’ which he has hidden under the gem-squash shell. How on earth could she have known that?
Then, later, just as he is about to tuck into one of the dog’s biscuits, again ever so casually, Mum calls from another room, ‘Don’t even think about it! ’ The little fellow’s face is a picture of bewilderment. She can even read minds!
Utterly frustrated, we then see him leaning over the cot whispering to his baby brother: ‘She knows everything! She even makes people better! ’
The final scene shows an admiring, if flu-flushed little face, as Mum doses him with Panado and it is patently obvious that the lovable little tyke has no doubt at all that his clever Mum will perform just another of her amazing miracles.
All of which takes me back many years to when Johnny, my eldest son, was about the same age. I was in the sitting room and he came running in from outside, stopping in front of a long mirror when he saw me. Hastily he put his hands behind his back.
A quick glance in the mirror behind him, showed me that he had got hold of one of his younger brother’s toys.
‘What are you up to, darling? ’ I asked.
‘Nothing, Ma, ’ he said guiltily.
‘Then why are you hiding Mikey’s ball behind your back? ’
He looked stunned.
‘H-how d’you know? ’ he asked.
Casually I studied my nails and replied: ‘Mommies know everything! ’
Some thirty or so years later, in a phone call to me, he said: ‘Oh by the way, Mom, I have something to tell you.’
‘You’re going to start your own business…? ’ I asked. There was a long silence.
‘H-how d’you know? ’
‘……….everything.’ he chuckled.
Which is why I always want to hug the little Panado boy.
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